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'Our own personal cyclone' as severe thunderstorm rips through WA farming community of Cunderdin

By Molly Schmidt and Andrew Collins, Wednesday January 17, 2018 - 15:33 EDT
Audience submitted image
The severe thunderstorm seemingly came "out of nowhere" in WA's Great Southern. - Audience submitted

Residents in Cunderdin have described a severe storm that tore through the region yesterday afternoon as "our own personal cyclone".

The Bureau of Meteorology recorded winds of up to 126 kilometres per hour yesterday as ex-Tropical Cyclone Joyce moved into the far south.

Nic Taylor, a grain farmer who owns a property north of the town, said she had never seen a storm like it with sheds torn apart, windows smashed and power lines down.

"It was our own personal cyclone," she said.

"The shed is down and the trees are down … it may be a couple of weeks before the power gets back on.

"Trees all over, trees to the west of my house — they're all gone," she said.

"So there goes my shade for the next five years I guess. It was just horrendous."

Storm came 'out of nowhere'

Ms Taylor said the storm lasted between 10 and 15 minutes and was completely unexpected.

"I know when the weather is coming and watch the radar and whatnot, but this just came out of nowhere," she said.

"A branch hit the office window and we had glass and water coming all over the office."

"I went and grabbed the poor old rooster and I thought 'I'll save you and put you in the shelter'.

"Well the shelter took off and remarkably Tommy the rooster was there at the end of it.

"He was just fine. He squatted down and survived it."

Ms Taylor said her rain gauge showed only 6 millimetres because the top had been ripped off in the storm.

The Bureau of Meteorology .

Damage bill significant

Ms Taylor said although most of their belongings were insured, she and her husband are expecting a hefty damage bill.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Jenny Feast said she was not surprised by the storm.

"We did have a severe thunderstorm warning for yesterday afternoon and we were expecting severe thunderstorms to pop up throughout that area," she said.

"We've got so much moisture associated with ex-Tropical Cyclone Joyce, it's been trapped in the trough that's just sitting off the west coast.

"We also had a mid-level disturbance, so a particularly unstable pocket of air come through that area with a lot of heat and a lot of moisture."

The remains of ex-Tropical Cyclone Joyce across Monday, leading to power blackouts, flooding and .

Health authorities have also warned that there was a risk the recent weather sparked by the ex-cyclone could carry .


© ABC 2018

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